WESST Consulting specialise in characterisation of groundwater systems through the application of first principles of geology and hydrogeology. We also establish site baseline conditions which are used to quantify and qualify impacts of proposed activities on the receiving environment. Potential impacts are rated according to a scoring system with risk matrices used to implement best practice mitigation and management measures.
Aquifer vulnerability can be defined as the tendency or likelihood for contamination to reach a specified position in the groundwater system after introduction at some location above the uppermost aquifer. WESST Consulting follows a holistic approach to aid in formulating a professional opinion on the vulnerability of an aquifer system, where the specified aquifer is classified with various aquifer units/zones identified and considered.
A hydrocensus user survey is conducted through the gathering of hydrogeological data and field measurements. Information obtained is used to determine the chemical composition of water samples as well as hydraulic connections and relationships. WESST Consulting has vast experience in user surveys and makes use of our in-house capabilities to establish a scientifically defendable hydrogeological baseline.
Stable environmental isotopes; Deuterium and Oxygen-18 are frequently used for water origin tracing. These non-radioactive isotopes essentially label water molecules, and their concentrations are not influenced or altered by chemical reactions. WESST Consulting applies the stable isotope technique to enable us to provide an estimate of the degree of mixing of water sources as well as determining the origin.
Geophysics entails the application of physics to investigate sub-strata of the earth. Solid earth geophysics is the use of physics that detect variations within the natural fields associated with the earth, such as the gravitational and magnetic fields, where active methods are those in which artificially generated signals transmitted into the ground such as electro-magnetic and resistivity methods. At WESST Consulting we have in-house experience and equipment resources to conduct a wide range of geophysical surveys and data interpretations.
Groundwater is one of the country’s most important resources with sustainability a key concept of resource development. At WESST Consulting we strive to develop and conserve sustainable quantities of groundwater and we are proud to say that we’ve been involved in various successful water supply and community water related projects.
At WESST Consulting we apply state of the art geophysical exploration techniques in order to determine the integrity of the sub-strata to pin-point strategically placed borehole positions. We have trust-built relationships with sub-contractors enabling us to provide clients with high quality and consistent drill work.
Borehole yield and capacity is dependent on thorough borehole construction as well as development. WESST Consulting relies on our in-house specialists to carefully design and implements appropriate borehole construction methods.
Aquifer testing is conducted through a process where an aquifer is subjected to pumping from a borehole under controlled test conditions in order to determine the hydraulic parameters of the groundwater system through its response to the stress of abstraction. At WESST Consulting we apply our theoretical and technical knowledge of aquifer tests enabling us to produce accurate data sets for interpretation.
Packer tests consist of isolating specific sections of a bedrock borehole with inflatable packers (bladders) in order to perform depth-specific aquifer tests and water quality sampling. A slug test is a controlled field experiment where the water level in a well is caused to change rapidly with the subsequent water-level response measured. Subsequently, hydraulic properties can be estimated. WESST Consulting specialises in a wide range of aquifer test techniques and can provide clients with customised solutions.
A numerical groundwater flow model consists of the application of a mathematical model to represent a regional or site-specific groundwater flow system. Groundwater flow models depict the movement of groundwater with time and as such are important tools in the prediction of future groundwater management and protection scenarios. By using one of the leading modelling software packages in the groundwater industry, FEFLOW© developed by DHI and WASY, we can perform simulations of various impact and management scenarios.
Traditionally, management of water resources has focused on surface water and groundwater as separate entities. As the development of resources increases, the inter-connectedness of groundwater and surface water systems is apparent. These components form an integral part of the hydrological system and must be protected, used, developed, conserved and managed properly. Effective water management requires a clear understanding of the linkages between groundwater and surface water. At WESST Consulting we combine experience with expert knowledge to develop integrated water management plans.
American statistician, William Edwards Deming (1900-1993), once said: “You cannot manage what you cannot measure”, emphasising the significance of quantification within a system before implementation of management and mitigation measures. A water balance is one of the most important and fundamental water management tools available. WESST Consulting focus on the development of operational water and salt balances to be applied as a powerful tool to optimise water need, assisting in minimising the requirement for make-up water by maximising recycling.
Geochemistry is the study of the chemical composition of rocks and minerals that applies the principles of chemistry to explain mechanisms of the movement of these elements into soil and water. In 2013 authorities promulgated regulations 634 and 635 under the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA) stipulating legislative requirements for waste classification to be conducted. WESST Consulting makes use of in-house experience and knowledge to provide a wide range of geochemical assessments and input including waste classification studies as well as acid mine drainage predictions.